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Merry Fixmas

Right to Repair dubs 2022 a landmark year for the movement

"Fair Repair" legislation was passed in multiple states this year—with several others making progress moving bills through at least one chamber of their state legislature—developments that the Right to Repair movement, spearheaded by the Repair Association, considers major victories. Colorado passed a right to repair law to help users of powered wheelchairs fix their equipment on their terms. New York also passed a general electronics right-to-repair bill in June with nearly unanimous support and awaits an official signature by the Governor in the coming days. "We’re still fighting to the finish!" the Repair Association said in its most recent newsletter.

Both laws, RtR says, are "game-changers for our movement, nation, and world," continuing with a call to action and a list of future goals, which include specific industries to address:

"We’ve always predicted that getting the first state to pass a bill would be the hardest, and now that we’re on the edge of victory our momentum will continue to grow. Yet, our work is still not complete. Since not all equipment is covered between these two bills – there is much more work to be done, and we’re setting out to finish the job in 2023 with legislation that covers agricultural equipment, home appliances, boats, medical equipment, and even lawn mowers." 2022 is also the year where RtR became a trusted voice of "high-tech" repair. The Repair Association and its affiliates are now invited to the table as industry experts in settings as diverse as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Congress (where leaders Gay Gordon-Byrne (Executive Director) and Nathan Proctor (Senior Director for US PIRG) were called to testify, the National Association of Attorneys General (where Gay Gordon-Byrne was a featured panelist with Christine Todaro of the FTC) and The National Zero Waste Conference (where Kyle Wiens, Peter Mui, and Gay Gordon-Byrne were speakers). In addition to the state progress, it also saw several pieces of bipartisan right to repair legislation that were introduced this year in the U.S. Congress and will be carried again in 2023:

  • Fair Repair Act - House Bill 4006, Senate Bill 3830 - Rep. Joe Morelle (D-NY), Sens. Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and Ron Wyden (D-OR)

  • Agricultural Right to Repair Act - Senate Bill 3549 - Sen. John Tester (D-MT) and Sen. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM)

  • Freedom to Repair Act - House Bill 6566 - Reps. Mondaire Jones (D-NY) and Victoria Spartz (R-IN)

"The focus for 2023 is to cement our victories and protect the historic progress we’ve made in 2022," RtR said in a statement to end the year. "We also want to push forward with even more legislative action and apply more pressure on OEMs who stand in opposition. 2022 was a tipping point with multiple manufacturers starting to comply with Fair Repair principles, voluntarily, around the nation and the world. While we’re excited about this progress, we understand that anything voluntary may be short-lived if (or when) the OEM changes its mind. Conversely, actions in Europe and in countries throughout the world are driving improvements in design standards as well as prohibitions on adhesives. Legal actions around the world are making waves and reinforcing our message that we should always be able to fix our stuff." This movement has been a true coalition effort – and every member has made a significant contribution by using their voices and their wallets and their networks to drive essential change. Our competition has deeper pockets than we do, but we prevail because we share a passion for repair. Next year has big consequences. There are implications for consumers and businesses, not to mention local economies and jobs. Luckily, we’re making it as easy as possible to help our cause in every state in 2023. Whether you’re in-state or out-of-state for an active Right to Repair bill, making calls, or sending letters, we’ve got everything you need to make the next year count in our RTR “How to Help” guide.

If you’d like to swap repair stories, share pet pictures, and chat about everything from repair news to the latest internet buzz with fellow fixers while you help out, now is a great time to join the Right to Repair virtual community!

If you’re short on time but feeling the spirit of giving, you can also chip in a few dollars to our 2023 Right to Repair fund, supporting on-the-ground organizing in states to make sure repair legislation gets a fair vote and to help consumers stay engaged long-term.

Let’s make the victories these past 12 months count and finish off the job in 2023.

Thanks for keeping at it,

~ The Repair Association

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